6 Random Things

Marialena/WhatWedding has tagged me for a “6 Random Things” blog challenge! But because I need some sort of direction, I will base my six things off her six things.

  1. I’m a Virgo – but I’ve overcome it. Or learned to take advantage of it. Virgos are known for being meticulous, organized, practical, responsible, reserved, perfectionists. There are several Virgos in my department at work, and it’s really funny because you can totally tell who we are, but I think I’m the least compulsive about things
  2. If I could live in another time period, it would be the 1940s. I love reading books or even hearing stories from my grandmother that take place during WWII. Yes, there were obviously terrible things going on at the time, but I love the attitude of the country pulling together, not to mention the style..!
  3. When I was with my [gay] ex-boyfriend, we planned to live in Hoboken, NJ and get jobs in New York. I actually think Hoboken is a cute town, though now I doubt I could ever live/work that close to NYC. Now GG and I dream of moving to New Hope, PA and opening our own little shop/studio.
  4. My life since graduating college is nothing at all like I was expecting it to be. I figured I’d be struggling with some entry-level design type jobs for a few years, still living at home with my family. I had no idea I’d luck into such a great job right out of school, get a house, and get married!
  5. I don’t eat things that lived in the water either!! (Except seaweed, if it’s wrapped around [vegetable] sushi.) I’m pretty horrible to take on a seaside vacation.
  6. I don’t dance. I hated going to GG’s band’s shows if I didn’t have any friends with me, because I’d end up sitting by myself and random guys would come up and ask, “Why aren’t you dancing? Are you sad?”

I’ve changed my mind about tagging, I’m not going to tag anyone, so if you’re reading this and you want to do it, go for it!

The rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you (i.e. me)
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Write 6 random things about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog
6. Let the tagger (me) know when your entry is posted

Linky Thursday – 7/31

There’s Another Scary Article About Cancer and Cell Phones: Cell phones are going to kill us all. Darn. At a SAR level of 1.19, my phone is kind of on the high side, too.

Sleeptracker: Interesting idea – this watch monitors your sleep patterns and wakes you up at the optimal moment (within a time window you decide) when you’re most awake, so you don’t feel so groggy when your alarm goes off.

I Am the Very Model of a Bouncing Baby Bunny Butt: I love all things Gilbert & Sullivan, and all things Cute Overload, so of course I had to link to this post!


I added the WP plugin yaCAPTCHA to the comments form, because I have been getting a ton of spam comments on here lately. Like, several hundred a day. And I have to sort through all of them, because every once in a while there’s a legitimate comment in there. So we’ll see if this slows things down any. Sorry for the inconvenience :o/ But feel free to leave me a comment and try out the new system!

[Edit – 7/29] Woo hoo, it works! Normally I would have ~150 spam comments waiting for me in the morning, today I had none! [/Edit]

Mulaney, NYC Trip

Friday night, GG willingly took me to see my imaginary boyfriend at Helium. Oh also Tammy Pescatelli was headlining, but you know John was the main draw. I was seriously laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe at some points (and this was at jokes I’d heard before)! Tammy was good too, but she didn’t have the continuous, uproarious laughter that John got. After the show, I waited in the lobby while GG went looking for John. I thought he’d just come back and tell me where he was so we could go meet him. No, he brought John Mulaney up to me and we shook hands and GG told some weird stories. We actually talked for several minutes but I felt bad because other people were trying to compliment him as they went past, so we did eventually leave. He said he’d be back in Philly in a couple months!!

Saturday I had to go to New York for a meeting with these jewelry people whose web site I’m redesigning. I got up super early Saturday morning, because Julie said she’d pick me up at 6:30. I should have known better – she actually didn’t arrive until a little after 7 AM. Then we drove to Trenton, bought train tickets, and rode an express train up to Penn Station. It was a nice ride. Getting off the train in New York was exactly what you’d imagine it would be: tons of people, every language being spoken, crazy.

So we got out to the street, Julie got our bearings, and we headed to the jewelry shop. We got to walk through Times Square! Our destination was in the “diamond district,” which you could easily tell because suddenly every store sold jewelry. The way to get into the building was a little confusing (there are like three doors that all go to different parts of the building), but we got up to the office at 10:30. There was a photographer there at the same time, so it was a little chaotic because there are two women who run the company, and one of them sat with me while the other worked with the photographer, but then they would ask each other questions, and then at one point they switched, and things I’d discussed with the first lady were not agreed by the second. Confusing. We finished up around 12:30, and I left with a big list of stuff I still need from them, but it was good to be able to meet in person and discuss things.

After my meeting, Julie and I took the subway down to Greenwich Village, eager to see the interesting shops and restaurants the area is famous for. We sat in a small park near the exit from the subway to get our bearings. I talked to GG on the phone, he asked how New York was and I said, “smelly, noisy, hot, crowded.” Then we headed down the street. We came to this Mexican restaurant that was mentioned in Julie’s guidebook, and decided to have lunch there. Our pink-haired waitress brought us three little cups of salsa, and asked if we’d like some chips and guacamole while we were deciding on what to order. Well, of course we had to order chips, you just put these salsas in front of us! Haha. So we had tortilla chips with the most delicious guacamole either of us had ever had, and then Julie had huevos rancheros and I had this open-faced sandwich that I think was called a mallete. And I got hibiscus agua to drink, which was sort of like watered-down Kool-Aid, but I figured I was in New York and should try something interesting.

Me and Julie with our respective lunches

Tin-framed mirrors in the restaurant bathroom

We continued our walk around Greenwich Village after lunch, but where was all the awesome crazy stuff we were expecting? I don’t know. Some of the streets were closed off for some sort of street fair, so we walked through that, but it was pretty much the same booths repeated over and over: sunglasses, knock-off purses, t-shirts, $2 random junk, lemonade and corn on the cob (and for the record I did not see one person walking around with a corn, although it smelled delicious), smoothies, scarves/pashminas. Repeat. (There’s more pictures of the street fair at this blog.)

Julie trying on some funky shades

By 3 PM, we were ready to head home. We took the subway back to Penn Station, and caught the train back to Trenton. It was a local this time, but I don’t think it took that much longer. We got stuck in a little traffic on the way home – people rubbernecking at an accident on the Turnpike – but I was home by 6:30. And ehxausted. I guess New York is a neat place, but there s absolutely no way I could live there.

Linky Thursday – 7/24

The Great Library Card Collection: Colleen directed me to this strange web site, where a kid in California displays his (her? their name is Cory) collection of over 3000 library cards from all over the US. Way to go, kid.

QVC Forums – Host Lounge: I grew up in a house that watched tons of QVC, I know a couple people who work there (behind the scenes), and I’ll sometimes put it on for background noise when I’m at home, so this is really interesting to me! The actual QVC hosts answer fans’ questions about all sorts of stuff, like technical things about their jobs, what they do if they have to take a bathroom break, and favorite on-air bloopers. A really interesting read!

Bocci 22: The Outlet for Minimalists: Awesome wall outlet built right into the wall, so there’s no need for a plate to cover the wires. (But of course, difficult to install, and who knows how much it costs.) I’d like to see one of these for light switches, too!

When to Replace Pillows, Mattresses and More: Makes me feel better about replacing all our pillows after 3+ years of use. I have no clue how old our smoke detectors are (we do replace the batteries), so they might be up for replacement next. Same with the fire extinguisher, though its indicator still says it’s in the “good” range. I have eye makeup that’s years old, though, so I don’t know about that 6 month recommendation.

Mygazines.com: Read full issues of tons of current magazines online! You can’t print them, but you can save your favorite articles and put them together into your own “magazine” to share with friends. This is great, now I can catch up with Hannah Montana magazine. (That was a joke, there’s tons of stuff I’d actually want to read on there, too.)

In the Realms of the Sleepy

I am so tired today. Last night we watched this documentary about Henry Darger, In the Realms of the Unreal, which I wasn’t planning on doing, so it pushed the rest of my schedule back a couple hours. So I went to bed late, in the first place. Then there were these horrible thunderstorms all night, and usually storms don’t wake me up, but these were terrible. So every time I’d fall asleep, another clap of thunder would wake me. Even the cats were nervous – both Sacha and Ivan made appearances on the bed (again, keeping me awake). So I am still pretty sleepy this morning – I got a Dr Pepper from the cafeteria, in the hopes that the caffiene would help. It’ll be another late-ish night tonight, as we have our last band concert of the season, and then I have to rush home and watch Project Runway (and I’ll probably get home after 9, which means I’ll have to stay up later to watch the repeat, which doesn’t start until 11, ugh!).

Oh guess who I am going to see on Friday?! My imaginary boyfriend! I will once again attempt to invite him out for some pre-show gelato, and he’ll probably once again decline, but I got to hug him last year, which was pretty cool ;o)

I know I haven’t done a Linky Thursday for a few weeks, but I’ve slowly been collecting links and I have some good ones for tomorrow, so watch for it!

Bathroom Project Finished

The handyman called me on Wednesday last week and we planned for him to come out Friday to do my little job. GG and I went out Thursday night to get the doors and medicine cabinet for him to install (we ended up getting two, since the opening was an odd size), as well as new hardware (towel bar, etc.). The hardware style I picked was, of course, on clearance and therefore they were sold out of toilet paper holders in the style I liked. So GG hopped on the computer at Home Depot, found a nearby store where they still had a bunch, and we stopped there, too. (I found out from him yesterday that that style is actually a “buyback,” meaning they’re sending everything back to the manufacturer, so I got them just in time!)

Friday morning, I was slightly annoyed that the handyman’s assistant, Luis, came out, instead of the actual handyman, Jim. I’d been impressed when Jim came to give his estimate because he seemed really familiar with houses the age of mine. There seemed to have been a lack of communication between him and Luis, because Luis didn’t have the right tools or boards or anything. It worked out, though. And I did speak to Jim on the phone before and after the work was completed.

Luis got to work first on replacing the bifold doors on our laundry room and coat closet. Of course, we’d gotten the wrong height door for the closet, so GG had to buy a different size at work and drop it off at his lunch break. So Luis did the laundry room doors first, and they looked really good, except I caught him literally just in time before he started drilling holes for the knobs in the wrong place!

Since we had to wait for GG to bring the other door home, he did the medicine cabinet next. The old one was actually grouted into the wall, so he had to kind of chisel it out. When he finally removed it, we discovered that there was a hole behind the cabinet where you could see into the bedroom closet (and vice-versa). So I had to remove all of GG’s clothes from the closet for the next part. We decided to try to fit the 24″x25″ medicine cabinet into the 22″x26″ hole in the wall. So he had to cut an inch off each side of the opening, which meant cutting through the tile and then kind of carving away at the wood frame. He did it! Then he put a wood shim at the top and bottom of the opening, to fill the height gap. He got the new cabinet in and caulked everything up, and it looks beautiful!

Hole from the bathroom into the closet

After that big project, Luis was able to quickly replace the other closet door and also cut a board to fit our weird little “step” in the bathroom (that a guy stepped on three years ago and put a major dent in). He finished up for the day, I talked to Jim the handyman, and then I got to work on my own projects.

Most of my Friday was spent removing the existing wooden hardware from the bathroom, spray painting the doors to the big cabinet (out in the garage, where bugs ate me), and taping and painting all the wood trim in the bathroom. There were also a lot of nail holes left in all the trim, so I spackled that. Between all the various coats of paint on things, I was painting for most of Friday and a little of Saturday (when I painted over the spackled screw holes from the wood hardware).

Tape and spackle around the new medicine cabinet

All the painting done, no hardware yet

Sunday I had a concert, but I figured I’d have time to hang up the new hardware in the morning. Well, barely! I thought I’d start easy, with the towel ring – nothing to really keep level, just one point on the wall. Ugh! I had to drill, put in plastic anchors, then screw in the mounting bracket and screw the actual towel ring onto that. And the wall was all crumbly. After that, with my confidence built up, I moved on to the toilet paper holder. A little trickier, since it really needed to be level and the two brackets had to be the right distance apart. I nearly went crazy over that one – not because of the measuring and keeping it level, but because the wall pretty much ate my plastic anchors! Next I thought I’d do the robe hook, which I was hanging on a wall where nothing had hung before. There’s probably a reason for that – I could only drill half as deep as my screws were long. I have no idea what that wall is made of! So I gave up, got some shorter screws, and screwed them into a new set of holes. I don’t know how stable that’s going to be, so I just told GG he can’t hang anything too heavy on there, or be pulling on it a lot. Finally, I did the towel bar, which turned out level and properly spaced as well.

Once we got our towels and rug and toothbrushes and stuff back in there, it definitely felt more homey, but it still feels so bright and clean and white in there, with just that little extra bit of white trim, and the bigger mirror. I love it!

It even looks good at night!

I still have to paint the wood cabinet above the toilet white, but that is another project for another weekend…

Bathroom Plans, Project Runway Premiere, RUSH

The handyman is coming tomorrow … We had been planning to go out tonight to get the closet doors and the medicine cabinet he’ll need … I measured everything last night … The medicine cabinet is 22 inches wide, which is apparently a very rare size. The closest standard size is 24 inches. I called the handyman this morning, and he thinks we should get a 24 inch cabinet and they can cut an inch off each side of the opening to put it in – which will be great, if it works!

Still on my list of bathroom to-dos: replace cabinet above the toilet (looking for this one), replace the faucet (we have this, but it’s kind of gross and I hate the two knobs, I’d like this one… though now that I’m thinking about it, the higher handle might get in the way of the medicine cabinet door, sigh…), fill nail holes and paint all the wood trim white, paint the linen cabinet doors white, and replace the wooden towel bars and stuff with chrome ones.

Who watched Project Runway last night?! The premiere seemed to happen very quietly, a lot of my PR fan friends didn’t even know it was starting! They repeated the first challenge from the first season, with Austin Scarlett (that challenge’s winner) as the guest judge. It’s hard to get a sense of the contestants in just one episode, but I think I already don’t like Suede and Blayne. Blayne was clearly trying to work his own catchphrase (a la Christian’s “fierce”) with “girlicous” or whatever he kept saying.

And we stayed up last night to watch Rush on the Colbert Report, because, you know, Ruuuuuushhhhh. I guess because it was the last thing I heard before going to bed, I’ve had “Tom Sawyer” stuck in my head all day.

Reviews, Handymen, Patio

Hey, I made a new category on the blog for reviews, and added everything from 2008 that falls in this category. Not movie or TV reviews, they’re still in their respective categories, but reviews of products and services. Speaking of which, read today’s previous post about this drain cleaning product, it’s fascinating.

So speaking of the house … after meeting with the second handyman last Friday (the first one e-mailed me his estimate a few weeks ago, I wrote back with additional info he asked for, and I haven’t heard from him since), I still hadn’t gotten an estimate. This morning he sent me an e-mail. No “Hi,” no “Dear whatever,” just “When can we do your work?” Um… did I miss something? He still hadn’t told me how much it would cost. (And anyway, turns out my uncle could probably come over in a couple weeks and do most of this stuff for free! Or the price of a pizza.) So then he called me later this morning and was like, “Didn’t you get my PDF attachment?” No, obviously I didn’t. So he just told me his estimate over the phone (certainly more reasonable than the first guy!), I confirmed with GG, and I just wrote back to him and told him we could go ahead with the work on Friday! Operation “Spruce Up the Bathroom” is underway!

In landscaping news, the estimate we got to put in a brick paver patio from a guy who came over on Monday was way high. I have another paver guy coming on Thursday, but I also called a decorative concrete guy (still haven’t heard back yet), because concrete is apparently significantly cheaper than doing pavers, and if you stamp and stain it, it looks just like bricks or stones! (But – it can crack.) Anyone have any opinions?

I’m wearing a skirt to work for the second time ever! (The first time being last Wednesday.)

Review: Zep “Drain Care” Treatment

Our bathtub drain is notoriously slow. It seems like a couple times a week we have to take a plunger to it, and once a month or so I’m pouring Drano down there (bad! I know). So I decided to try one of those drain treatments you use regularly to keep things flowing. At Home Depot, I decided on Zep Drain Care, a canister of powder your mix with warm water and pour down the drain on a regular basis. It seemed more economical than other treatments, which came in single-use bottles for the same price as this one (40 uses, it says).

You’re supposed to use it for three nights in a row (let it sit overnight, when the drain isn’t used), and then once a month after that. So I started it on Sunday night. The drain is so slow, it was hard to even get the pint of liquid down there, but I did. By Tuesday night, I’d figured out a good system for mixing it up and getting it down the drain. Each morning after the treatment, the drain seemed to be more clogged after a shower, but we’d plunge it and then it seemed better than usual. The package says it might dislodge stuff that can further clog the drain (temporarily), so I wasn’t worried.

This morning, after the third treatment, I took a shower after GG. For the second morning in a row, the plunger pulled up big chunks of hair from the drain, which I guess was a good sign. So I took my shower, which was extra long because I was shaving my legs today. Usually by the end of a shower that long, I would be standing in at least 4 inches of water. Nope! The drain seems totally clear and there was no backup of water when I got out!

So, I will be following up with the monthly treatments (actually, I already scheduled it on MyChores), and I plan to try this stuff on our bathroom and kitchen sinks, which seem to be slowing down as well. Thumbs up! (…Now watch, in a week I’ll be writing a post about how all our pipes burst from this stuff or something.)